Kevin Spacey surprised the audience at an Oxford lecture that paid tribute to the late conservative philosopher Roger Scruton. This marked Spacey’s first public appearance following his acquittal of sexual assault charges in London.
The event, titled “What Shakespeare Can Teach Us About Cancel Culture,” featured a monologue from “Timon of Athens,” performed by Spacey after he was invited on stage by The Spectator’s associate editor, Douglas Murray. Murray referred to the current climate of “cancellation and defenestration,” highlighting that history has seen similar times, a theme that resonated with Spacey.
The chosen monologue is about the consequences when a society unjustly abandons someone. Murray expressed that the scene was meaningful to Spacey and related to Scruton’s experiences, saying, “It’s something that has been on Kevin’s mind, as it was on Roger Scruton’s mind, so I said I want him to be back on stage in the U.K.”
Spacey performed the monologue, even dramatically exiting and reentering the room, which culminated in a standing ovation from the audience.
Kevin Spacey was acquitted of sexual assault charges in the UK in July, following a four-week trial in London. He had faced allegations of sexual assault against four men in the country between 2004 and 2013. Despite his legal victory, the accusations have continued to impact his career. The London premiere of his latest film, “Control,” was canceled by a cinema over the weekend, citing its staff’s discomfort with any association with Spacey’s film. However, the premiere was quickly relocated to a new venue.